Joe takes root to steer England to win over Sri Lanka

(Reuters) – Joe Root’s third hundred powered England to a five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the fifth one-day international in Pallekele yesterday and kept alive their hopes in the seven-match series.

After rain forced play to be suspended on Wednesday, the visitors returned to chase down a 240-run victory target with five balls to spare. They trail the hosts 3-2 in the series.

The 23-year-old Root (104 not out) added 104 for the third wicket with James Taylor (68) after England lost both openers cheaply to off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake.

The Yorkshire right-hander, who hit seven fours in his 117-ball knock, reached his hundred by slog-sweeping Ajantha Mendis for a six in the penultimate over.

Senanayake, back in the Sri Lanka team after being cleared to bowl again with a remodelled action, bowled Moeen Ali (four) in the second over.

He then compounded England’s problems by getting under-fire captain Alastair Cook, who has faced criticism following a string of poor results and lack of runs, out lbw for 20.

Taylor and Root consolidated initially before launching into the bowlers and laying down a solid platform for the chase.

The 24-year-old Taylor, who hit five fours and a six, showed nimble footwork against the spinners to get to his second successive half-century before he was dismissed by Thisara Perera.

Root and Ravi Bopara (28) took England close to the target with a fourth-wicket stand of 86 runs. Bopara and Eoin Morgan (five) fell in quick succession with England in touching distance of the win.

England paceman Chris Woakes (6-47) tore through the Sri Lankan lower order to bowl out the hosts for 239 in 49 overs on Wednesday despite a cultured 91 from Kumar Sangakkara.

A torrential downpour then kept the players off the pitch and prompted the match officials to abandon the day’s play.



Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Innings
T. Dilshan b Jordan                                                    35
K. Perera c Jordan b Finn                                            0
K. Sangakkara c Root b Woakes                                  91
M. Jayawardene c Jordan b Woakes                              2
A. Mathews c Woakes b Jordan                                      40
L. Thirimanne lbw b Tredwell                                       8
J. Mendis c&b Woakes                                               12
T. Perera c Root b Woakes                                              27
S. Senanayake b Woakes                                              0
D. Prasad not out                                                           5
A. Mendis b Woakes                                                   0
Extras (b-2 lb-2 w-15)                                                19
Total (all out, 49 overs)                                           239
Fall of wickets: 1-3 K. Perera,2-54 T. Dilshan,3-59 M. Jayawardene,4-144 A. Mathews,5-173 L. Thirimanne,6-199 K. Sangakkara,7-202 J. Mendis,8-212 S. Senanayake,9-238 T. Perera,10-239 A. Mendis Bowling S. Finn 6 – 0 – 28 – 1 C. Woakes 8 – 0 – 47 – 6(w-5) M. Ali 10 – 0 – 50 – 0(w-3) C. Jordan 10 – 0 – 56 – 2(w-2) J. Tredwell 10 – 2 – 33 – 1(w-1) J. Root 5 – 0 – 21 – 0(w-2)

England Innings
A. Cook lbw b Senanayake                                        20
M. Ali b Senanayake                                                       4
J. Taylor c A. Mendis b T. Perera                               68
J. Root not out                                                         104
R. Bopara c Thirimanne b Dilshan                                28
E. Morgan c T. Perera b A. Mendis                                   5
J. Buttler not out                                                              2
Extras (lb-6 nb-1 w-2)                                                     9
Total (for 5 wickets, 49.1 overs)                                    240
Fall of wickets: 1-12 M. Ali,2-35 A. Cook,3-139 J. Taylor,4-225 R. Bopara,5-238 E. Morgan Did not bat: C. Woakes, C. Jordan, J. Tredwell, S. Finn Bowling T. Dilshan 9.1 – 0 – 45 – 1 S. Senanayake 10 – 0 – 35 – 2 A. Mathews 4 – 0 – 14 – 0 D. Prasad 4 – 0 – 24 – 0(w-2) J. Mendis 7 – 0 – 41 – 0 A. Mendis 9 – 0 – 49 – 1(nb-1) T. Perera 6 – 0 – 26 – 1 Referees Umpire: Ruchira Palliyaguruge Umpire: Rod Tucker TV umpire: Bruce Oxenford Match referee: David Boon Result: England won by 5 wickets


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